Category Archives: Game Preview

Game Preview: 1/18/19 at Vancouver

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Wednesday, January 16
Buffalo 4 at Calgary 3 (OT)
Goals: Rodrigues, Dahlin, McCabe, Eichel
Goalie: Ullmark (30 saves/33 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 1/3; Shots: Calgary 33 – Buffalo 23

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 172)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Casey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 18 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
1/18: Acquired F Taylor Leier from Philadelphia in exchange for F Justin Bailey; Assigned Leier to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Tuesday, Jan. 29: Buffalo at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 30: Buffalo at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 1: Chicago at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 5: Minnesota at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 7: Carolina at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at CANUCKS

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Canucks this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Vancouver 4-3 (SO) in Buffalo on Nov. 10, 2018
  • The Sabres are 4-6-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Canucks; 2-7-1 on the road.
  • This is the 122nd game all-time between Buffalo and Vancouver; Buffalo has a 50-52-19 series record.
  • The Sabres are 18-31-11 on the road against the Canucks all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 12-4-4 all-time on January 18.
  • Four different Sabres goaltenders (Don Edwards, Tom Barrasso, Dominik Hasek, Martin Biron) have earned a shutout on Jan. 18. It is one of only three dates on which the Sabres have recorded four shutouts; the others are Feb. 16 and Nov. 19.
  • January 18, 1984: Tom Barrasso makes 30 saves in his first NHL shutout as the Sabres top the Los Angeles Kings 4-0.
  • January 18, 2008: Derek Roy records his third career hat trick and Drew Stafford records his first in a 10-1 win against the Atlanta Thrashers, marking the 12th game in franchise history to feature two Sabres hat tricks.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Tonight’s game is the final game in a three-game road trip through Western Canada for the Sabres. Buffalo is 10-3-1 against the Pacific Division this season.
  • With a win tonight, the Sabres will have swept the Canucks in a season series for the first time since the teams resumed facing off twice a season in 2013-14. Buffalo’s last two-win series against Vancouver came in 1997-98.
  • Johan Larsson is expected to appear in his 300th NHL game tonight.
  • Evan Rodrigues has scored in each of Buffalo’s last two games and is seeking his first career three-game goal streak.
  • Sam Reinhart has already set career-high totals in assists (33) and multi-point games (13) this season. The Sabres are 18-7-4 this season when he records at least one point and 28-4-6 (.816) in his career when he records at least two.

HOT AGAINST VANCOUVER

  • Kyle Okposo has totaled 12 points (2+10) in 12 career games against Vancouver, including a point in each of the last four (2+2).
  • Rasmus Ristolainen enters tonight’s game with seven points in his last seven games against the Canucks (2+5), including at least a point in each of his last four (0+5).
  • Jeff Skinner has recorded five points (3+2) in his last four games against Vancouver.
  • Rasmus Dahlin recorded his first career multi-point game with two assists when these teams last met.
  • Carter Hutton is 2-1-0 in four career appearances against the Canucks with a .943 save percentage and a 1.80 goals-against average.

DAH-LEAN ON ME
Entering play Thursday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and tied for second among all NHL rookies with 26 points (5+21) this season.

  • Rasmus Dahlin enters tonight’s game on a career-best, five-game point streak (1+5). He joins Bobby Orr (2x), Phil Housley and Aaron Ekblad as the only defensemen ever to record five-game point streaks before their 19th birthdays. A point tonight would make him the first 18-year-old defenseman to tally a point in six straight games.
  • During his five-game streak, Dahlin has a plus-4 rating, and has averaged 22:10 of ice time and 3.2 shots per game, also boasting a 52.94 percent shot attempt percentage (CF%) during 5-on-5 play.
  • With 26 points (5+21) through 47 games, Dahlin is scoring at a higher rate than he did in the Swedish Hockey League last season, when he totaled 20 points (7+13) in 41 games.
  • Dahlin’s current point total puts him on pace for 45 points this season. It would trail only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83) for the most ever recorded by a defenseman before his 19th birthday.

NIFTY FIFTY
With his first point on Wednesday at Calgary, Jack Eichel became just the fifth player in franchise history to record at least 50 points in each of his first four NHL seasons, joining Phil Housley, Rick Martin, Gilbert Perreault and Christian Ruuttu.

HEY NOW, YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR

  • Jeff Skinner led all Atlantic Division candidates in fan votes during the NHL’s “Last Men In” vote to earn a spot on the Atlantic Division All-Star Team. He will make his second All-Star Game appearance and first since his Calder Trophy-winning season in 2010.
  • Skinner will join Jack Eichel, also making his second career All-Star Game appearance, as the first pair of Sabres to appear in an All-Star Game together since the team had three representatives (Daniel Briere, Brian Campbell and Ryan Miller) in 2007.

COMEBACK KIDS

  • The Sabres are 6-13-2 this season when trailing after two periods. Their six wins when trailing after 40 minutes tied for second-most in the league entering play Thursday and their .286 win percentage in those games tied for fourth.
  • Buffalo’s six wins when trailing after two have already surpassed last season’s total and leave the team three third-period comebacks shy of the franchise record of nine set in the 2005-06 season.

SCORING WHEN IT COUNTS

  • Entering play Thursday, Jeff Skinner’s seven game-winning goals tied for the most in the NHL this season. He is the first Sabres player with at least seven game-winners in a season since Derek Roy (9) in 2008-09 and is four shy of matching the single-season franchise record of 11 shared by Danny Gare (1979-80) and Alexander Mogilny (1992-93).
  • Skinner also entered play Thursday tied for third in the league with three overtime goals this season. Skinner’s total matches the Sabres’ single-season record shared by Daniel Briere (2006-07) and Derek Roy (2009-10) and ties him for 10th-most career overtime goals in franchise history.

LEADING THE WAY

  • All three of the Sabres’ top three scorers are currently on pace to shatter their personal bests in points on the strength of career-best production at even strength that ranks them each among the best even-strength players in the league this season:
Player/Season GP G A PTS ES G ES A ES P
Eichel Career High (2017-18) 67 25 39 64 22 20 42
Eichel 2018-19 44 16 35 51 12 26 38
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 79 29 63 92 22 47 68
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 47 30 14 44 23 10 33
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 52 24 77 40 17 58
               
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 47 10 33 43 9 23 32
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 17 58 75 16 40 56

MAKING HISTORY

  • If the Sabres’ top scorers continue their current pace, the team would have three 75-point players for the first time since 1992-93 (Pat LaFontaine, Alexander Mogilny, Dale Hawerchuk).
  • At his current pace, Jack Eichel would finish the season tied for the fifth-most even-strength points ever recorded by a Sabre, trailing only LaFontaine (83) and Mogilny (78) in 1992-93, and Gilbert Perreault in 1975-76 (70).
  • Eichel would trail only LaFontaine’s franchise-record 52 even-strength assists that season and would become the first Sabre to record at least 90 points since Daniel Briere in 2006-07 (95).
  • Jeff Skinner is currently on pace to tie for the fourth-most goals in Sabres history, trailing only Mogilny in 1992-93 (76), Danny Gare in 1979-80 (56) and LaFontaine in 1992-93 (53). His 40 even-strength goals would finish behind only Mogilny’s even-strength total from 1992-93 (49), Rick Martin’s 44 in 1973-74 and Danny Gare’s 41 in 1975-76 to rank fourth in team history.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 1/17 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 82.1% PK% (9th)
  • Eichel: 179 S (6th), 2 GWG (T-6th), 26 EVA (T-9th)
  • Ristolainen: 25:20 TOI/GP (7th)
  • Skinner: 7 GWG (T-1st), 30 G (2nd), 23 EVG (T-2nd), 3 OTG (T-3rd)

BUF-VAN CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Canucks General Manager Jim Benning spent 12 seasons (1994-2006) as a member of the Sabres’ front office staff. He spent his first four seasons with the organization as a scout before being promoted to director of amateur scouting. The Sabres drafted F Jason Pominville during Benning’s tenure with the team.
  • Canucks F Tim Schaller spent three seasons (2013-2016) with the Sabres organization. He skated in 35 games and recorded five points (2+3).

Sabres with Vancouver connections:

  • Sabres F Sam Reinhart is a native of West Vancouver, British Columbia and played minor hockey at the Hollyburn Country Club and for the Vancouver Northwest Giants. His father is former Canuck Paul Reinhart.

Canucks with Western New York Connections:

  • Canucks D Christopher Tanev (2009-2010) played one season of college hockey at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He was named Atlantic Hockey Conference’s Rookie of the Year and earned All-Rookie Team and Third All-Star Team honors.

Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Played with Canucks assistant coach Manny Malhotra in Montreal.

Jason Botterill:

  • Played for the Sabres when Canucks General Manager Jim Benning was the team’s director of amateur scouting.
  • Was a scout for the Stars when Canucks assistant coach Nolan Baumgartner and F Loui Eriksson were playing in Dallas.
  • Was the assistant general manager in Pittsburgh when Canucks D Derrick Pouliot and F Brandon Sutter were playing for the Penguins.

Jack Eichel:

  • Won a bronze medal for Team USA with Canucks G Thatcher Demko and F Tyler Motte at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Remi Elie:

  • Played with Canucks F Antoine Roussel in Dallas.

Phil Housley:

  • Played with Canucks Head Coach Travis Green in Toronto.
  • Played with Canucks assistant coach Nolan Baumgartner in Washington.

Matt Hunwick:

  • Played in Boston when Canucks General Manager Jim Benning and assistant general manager John Weisbrod were a part of the Bruins’ front office staff.
  • Played with Canucks F Josh Leivo in Toronto.

Johan Larsson:

  • Represented Sweden with Canucks F Loui Eriksson at the 2012 World Championship.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played with Canucks G Thatcher Demko and F Tyler Motte for Team USA at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Played for Team Canada with Canucks F Bo Horvat at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Won a gold medal with Canucks D Ben Hutton and D Christopher Tanev while representing Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Finland with Canucks F Markus Granlund at the 2012 and 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Conor Sheary:

  • Played with Canucks D Derrick Pouliot in Pittsburgh.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Played with Canucks assistant coach Manny Malhotra and F Brandon Sutter in Carolina.

Steve Smith:

  • Played for the Blackhawks when Canucks assistant coach Newell Brown was on the coaching staff in Chicago.
  • Was an assistant coach in Edmonton when Canucks G Richard Bachman was playing for the Oilers.

Vladimir Sobotka:

  • Played in Boston when Canucks General Manager Jim Benning and assistant general manager John Weisbrod were a part of the Bruins’ front office staff.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (144), Girgensons (70), McCabe (60)
Blocked Shots: Bogosian (77), Ristolainen (75), McCabe (65)
Shots: Eichel (179), Skinner (150), Ristolainen (113)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 6-4-0 (12), 26/28, 8/38, 22/30
11-20: 6-2-2 (14), 35/27, 4/28, 26/29
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/32, 5/28, 23/29
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 24/27, 7/31, 27/29
41-50: 3-4-0 (6), 22/25, 1/20, 11/16

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-5; 119-126 all-time)
Oct. 27 at CBJ: L, 5-4 (GWG-Panarin, 0:31)
Oct. 30 vs. CGY: L, 2-1 (GWG-Gaudreau, 2:40)
Nov. 8 at MTL: W, 6-5 (GWG-Ristolainen, 1:38)
Nov. 19 at PIT: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel, 0:45)
Nov. 23 vs. MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 3:06)
Nov. 27 vs. SJS: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 1:41)
Nov. 30 at FLA: L, 3-2 (GWG-Barkov, 2:26)
Dec. 4 vs. TOR: L, 4-3 (GWG-Matthews, 4:57)
Dec. 11 vs. LAK: W, 4-3 (GWG-Skinner, 1:49)
Dec. 29 vs. BOS: L, 3-2 (GWG-Kuraly, 3:44)
Jan. 16 at CGY: W, 4-3 (GWG-Eichel, 1:10)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (3-1; 73-67 all-time)
Nov. 10 vs. VAN: W, 4-3 (GDG-Mittelstadt)
Nov. 16 at WPG: W, 2-1 (GDG-Sheary)
Nov. 24 at DET: W, 3-2 (GDG-Reinhart)
Dec. 15 at WSH: L, 4-3 (GDG-Ovechkin)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Johan Larsson … 1 game … 300 career games played
Sam Reinhart … 4 games … 300 career games played
Zach Bogosian … 6 games … 600 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 7 games … 400 career games played
Marco Scandella … 7 games … 500 career games played
Goals
Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 212 goals with Sabres (sole possession, 11th in franchise history)
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 4 assists … 300 career assists
Matt Hunwick … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Jason Pominville … 1 point … 511 points with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history)

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

Game Preview: 1/16/19 at Calgary

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Monday, January 14
Buffalo 2 at Edmonton 7
Goals: Mittelstadt, Rodrigues
Goalie: Hutton (7 saves/12 shots) / Ullmark (11 saves/13 shots)
PP: 0/4; PK: 0/1; Shots: Buffalo 43 – Edmonton 25

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 171)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Casey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 17 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
1/11: Activated F Jack Eichel from IR; Assigned F C.J. Smith to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Friday, Jan. 18: Buffalo at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 29: Buffalo at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 30: Buffalo at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 1: Chicago at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 5: Minnesota at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at FLAMES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Flames this season.
  • Last meeting: Calgary defeated Buffalo 2-1 (OT) in Buffalo on Oct. 30, 2018
  • The Sabres are 4-4-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Flames; 2-7-1 on the road.
  • This is the 109th game all-time between Buffalo and Calgary/Atlanta; Buffalo has a 52-37-19 series record.
  • The Sabres are 19-23-12 on the road against the Flames all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 12-3-5 all-time on January 16.
  • January 16, 1970: George “Punch” Imlach is named general manager and coach of the Sabres.
  • January 16, 2016: Zach Bogosian records his 99th and 100th career assists in Buffalo’s 4-1 win vs. Washington.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Tonight’s game is the second game in a three-game road trip through Western Canada for the Sabres. Buffalo is 9-3-1 against the Pacific Division this season.
  • The Sabres and Flames have split their season series in each of the last four seasons. Buffalo needs a win tonight to avoid the first series sweep by either team since Calgary won both matchups in the 2013-14 season.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has totaled seven points (4+3) in seven games against the Flames since the beginning of the 2015-16 season, including five points (3+2) in three road games.
  • Jeff Skinner has posted nine points (3+6) in his last eight matchups with the Flames, including five points (2+3) in his last three visits to Calgary.
  • Kyle Okposo has recorded eight points (2+6) in his last nine games against the Flames.
  • Jack Eichel has scored in each of his last three meetings with Calgary.
  • Rasmus Dahlin enters tonight’s game on a four-game point streak (0+5), tying his previous career-best streak set in November. During his current streak, Dahlin has a plus-2 rating, and has averaged 22:14 of ice time and 3.75 shots per game.
  • Sam Reinhart has already set career-high totals in assists (32) and multi-point games (13) this season. The Sabres are 17-7-4 this season when he records at least one point and 28-4-6 (.816) in his career when he records at least two.

HEY NOW, YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR

  • Jeff Skinner led all Atlantic Division candidates in fan votes during the NHL’s “Last Men In” vote to earn a spot on the Atlantic Division All-Star Team. He will make his second All-Star Game appearance and first since his Calder Trophy-winning season in 2010.
  • Skinner will join Jack Eichel, also making his second career All-Star Game appearance, as the first pair of Sabres to appear in an All-Star Game together since the team had three representatives (Daniel Briere, Brian Campbell and Ryan Miller) in 2007.

30 FOR 53

  • Jeff Skinner’s goal on Friday at Carolina gave him 30 goals for the fourth time in his career. He became the first Sabres player to score 30 goals in a season since Jason Pominville did so in 2011-12.
  • Skinner’s 44 games needed to reach the 30-goal mark tied him with Rick Martin in 1971-72 as the sixth-fastest Sabre to score 30. He trailed only Alexander Mogilny (30 GP in 1992-93), Pat LaFontaine (31 GP in 1991-92 and 42 GP in 1992-93), Gilbert Perreault (40 GP in 1977-78) and Rick Martin (41 GP in 1973-74).

COMEBACK KIDS

  • The Sabres are 6-13-2 this season when trailing after two periods. Their six wins when trailing after 40 minutes tied for second-most in the league entering play Tuesday and their .286 win percentage in those games tied for fourth.
  • Buffalo’s six wins when trailing after two have already surpassed last season’s total and leave the team three third-period comebacks shy of the franchise record of nine set in the 2005-06 season.

SCORING WHEN IT COUNTS

  • Entering play Tuesday, Jeff Skinner’s seven game-winning goals tied for the most in the NHL this season. He is the first Sabres player with at least seven game-winners in a season since Derek Roy (9) in 2008-09 and is four shy of matching the single-season franchise record of 11 shared by Danny Gare (1979-80) and Alexander Mogilny (1992-93).
  • Skinner also entered play Tuesday tied for third in the league with three overtime goals this season. Skinner’s total matches the Sabres’ single-season record shared by Daniel Briere (2006-07) and Derek Roy (2009-10) and ties him for 10th-most career overtime goals in franchise history.

DAH-LEAN ON ME
Entering play Tuesday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked third among all NHL rookies with 25 points (4+21) this season.

  • With his 20th point in his 37th game on Dec. 22 vs. Anaheim, he became the fourth-fastest 18-year-old defenseman in NHL history to reach the 20-point mark, trailing only Phil Housley (28 GP), Ray Bourque (30 GP) and Aaron Ekblad (34 GP).
  • With his 21st assist on Monday at Edmonton, Dahlin passed Ray Bourque for sixth-most assists by an 18-year-old defenseman in NHL history.
  • Dahlin’s totals put him on pace for 45 points this season. It would trail only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83) for the most ever recorded by a defenseman before his 19th birthday.

LEADING THE WAY

  • All three of the Sabres’ top three scorers are currently on pace to shatter their personal bests in points on the strength of career-best production at even strength that ranks them each among the best even-strength players in the league this season:
Player/Season GP G A PTS ES G ES A ES P
Eichel Career High (2017-18) 67 25 39 64 22 20 42
Eichel 2018-19 43 15 34 49 11 25 36
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 79 28 62 90 20 46 66
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 46 30 14 44 23 10 33
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 53 25 78 41 18 59
               
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 46 10 32 42 9 22 31
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 18 57 75 16 39 55

MAKING HISTORY

  • If the Sabres’ top scorers continue their current pace, the team would have three 75-point players for the first time since 1992-93 (Pat LaFontaine, Alexander Mogilny, Dale Hawerchuk).
  • At his current pace, Jack Eichel would finish the season with the fifth-most even-strength points ever recorded by a Sabre, trailing only LaFontaine (83) and Mogilny (78) in 1992-93, and Gilbert Perreault in 1975-76 (70) and 1979-80 (68).
  • Eichel would trail only LaFontaine’s franchise-record 52 even-strength assists that season and would become the first Sabre to record at least 90 points since Daniel Briere in 2006-07 (95).
  • Jeff Skinner is currently on pace to tie for the third-most goals in Sabres history, trailing only Mogilny in 1992-93 (76) and Danny Gare in 1979-80 (56). His 41 even-strength goals would finish behind only Mogilny’s even-strength total from 1992-93 (49) and Rick Martin’s 44 in 1973-74 to tie for third-most in team history.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 1/15 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 83.1% PK% (6th)
  • Eichel: 176 S (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 25:23 TOI/GP (7th), 142 hits (10th)
  • Skinner: 7 GWG (T-1st), 30 G (2nd), 23 EVG (T-2nd), 3 OTG (T-3rd)

BUF-CGY CONNECTIONS
Former Flames:

  • Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill played for the Flames for parts of two seasons (1999-00, 2001-02), appearing in six games and scoring one goal.
  • Sabres Head Coach Phil Housley spent five seasons with the Flames (1994-96, 1998-01), playing in 328 games and scoring 238 points (50+188). Housley served as an alternate captain for the Flames during the 1995-96 season and represented the team at the 2000 NHL All-Star Game. Housley played with Flames assistant general manager Craig Conroy while in Calgary.
  • Sabres assistant coach Steve Smith spent one season (1997-98) as an assistant coach for the Flames before joining their roster for the next three seasons (1998-2001), serving as the team’s captain during the 1999-00 season. In 102 games, Smith scored one goal and added 20 assists. Flames assistant general manager Craig Conroy played for the Flames when Smith was coaching/playing for the team.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Played with Flames F Michael Frolik and F Anthony Peluso in Winnipeg.

Jason Botterill:

  • Was a scout for the Stars when Flames G Mike Smith was playing in Dallas.
  • Was the assistant general manager in Pittsburgh when Flames F James Neal was playing for the Penguins.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played for Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey with Flames F Johnny Gaudreau.
  • Won a bronze medal while representing the United States with Flames D Noah Hanifin at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Phil Housley:

  • Played with Flames assistant coach Martin Gelinas in Edmonton.
  • Was an assistant coach in Nashville when Flames F James Neal was playing for the Predators.

Matt Hunwick:

  • Played in Boston when Flames associate coach Geoff Ward was an assistant coach for the Bruins.

Carter Hutton:

  • Played with Flames F James Neal in Nashville.

Jake McCabe:

  • Won a gold medal for Team USA with Flames F Johnny Gaudreau at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. Both McCabe and Gaudreau were named to the tournament’s All-Star team. The duo played together again at the 2014 IIHF World Championship.
  • Played for Team USA with Flames D Noah Hanifin at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for the Islanders with Flames D Travis Hamonic.

Jeff Skinner

  • Played with Flames D Noah Hanifin, F Elias Lindholm and F Derek Ryan in Carolina.
  • Played in Carolina when Flames Head Coach Bill Peters held the same position for the Hurricanes.
  • Played for Team Canada with Flames F James Neal at the 2011 IIHF World Championship.
  • Represented Canada at the 2013 IIHF World Championship with Flames D TJ Brodie and G Mike Smith.

Steve Smith:

  • Was an assistant coach for the Hurricanes when Flames Head Coach Bill Peters held the same role in Carolina. Flames D Noah Hanifin, F Elias Lindholm and F Derek Ryan were all on the ‘Canes roster during Smith’s tenure with the team.

Vladimir Sobotka:

  • Played in Boston when Flames associate coach Geoff Ward was an assistant coach for the Bruins.
  • Has played with Flames F Michael Frolik for the Czech Republic National Team on three separate occasions: the 2006 IIHF World Junior Championship, the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Tage Thompson:

  • Won a bronze medal for Team USA with Flames F Johnny Gaudreau at the 2018 IIHF World Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (142), Girgensons (68), McCabe/Okposo (59)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (74), Bogosian (74), McCabe (65)
Shots: Eichel (176), Skinner (148), Ristolainen (112)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 6-4-0 (12), 26/28, 8/38, 22/30
11-20: 6-2-2 (14), 35/27, 4/28, 26/29
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/32, 5/28, 23/29
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 24/27, 7/31, 27/29
41-50: 2-4-0 (4), 18/22, 1/17, 10/13

OVERTIME RESULTS (5-5; 118-126 all-time)
Oct. 27 at CBJ: L, 5-4 (GWG-Panarin, 0:31)
Oct. 30 vs. CGY: L, 2-1 (GWG-Gaudreau, 2:40)
Nov. 8 at MTL: W, 6-5 (GWG-Ristolainen, 1:38)
Nov. 19 at PIT: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel, 0:45)
Nov. 23 vs. MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 3:06)
Nov. 27 vs. SJS: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 1:41)
Nov. 30 at FLA: L, 3-2 (GWG-Barkov, 2:26)
Dec. 4 vs. TOR: L, 4-3 (GWG-Matthews, 4:57)
Dec. 11 vs. LAK: W, 4-3 (GWG-Skinner, 1:49)
Dec. 29 vs. BOS: L, 3-2 (GWG-Kuraly, 3:44)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (3-1; 73-67 all-time)
Nov. 10 vs. VAN: W, 4-3 (GDG-Mittelstadt)
Nov. 16 at WPG: W, 2-1 (GDG-Sheary)
Nov. 24 at DET: W, 3-2 (GDG-Reinhart)
Dec. 15 at WSH: L, 4-3 (GDG-Ovechkin)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Johan Larsson … 2 games … 300 career games played
Sam Reinhart … 5 games … 300 career games played
Zach Bogosian … 7 games … 600 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 8 games … 400 career games played
Marco Scandella … 8 games … 500 career games played
Goals
Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 212 goals with Sabres (sole possession, 11th in franchise history)
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 4 assists … 300 career assists
Matt Hunwick … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Jason Pominville … 1 point … 511 points with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history)

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

Game Preview: 1/14/19 at Edmonton

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, January 12
Tampa Bay 5 at Buffalo 3
Goals: Reinhart, Thompson, Scandella
Goalie: Ullmark (25 saves/30 shots)
PP: 0/4; PK: 0/1; Shots: Buffalo 33 – Tampa Bay 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 170)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Casey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 16 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
1/8: Activated F Zemgus Girgensons from IR; Placed F Jack Eichel on IR; Placed F Scott Wilson on waivers
1/9: Assigned F Scott Wilson to Rochester (AHL)
1/11: Activated F Jack Eichel from IR; Assigned F C.J. Smith to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Wednesday, Jan. 16: Buffalo at Calgary, 9:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 18: Buffalo at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 29: Buffalo at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 30: Buffalo at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 1: Chicago at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at OILERS

  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Oilers this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Edmonton 5-0 in Edmonton on Jan. 23, 2018
  • The Sabres are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Oilers; 6-3-1 on the road.
  • This is the 76th game all-time between Buffalo and Edmonton; Buffalo has a 26-38-11 series record.
  • The Sabres are 11-23-3 on the road against the Oilers all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-9-3 all-time on January 14.
  • January 14, 1972: The Sabres acquire Jim Lorentz from the New York Rangers in exchange for a second-round pick in the 1972 draft.
  • January 14, 2003: Ryan Miller stops all 22 Minnesota shots to earn a 1-0 victory and his first career shutout.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • After losing all four games against the Oilers in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, the Sabres have swept the four games between the teams in the last two seasons.
  • With a win tonight, the Sabres will have defeated the Oilers in five straight meetings for the first time since Buffalo won each of the six matchups between the teams from Jan. 16, 2006 to Jan. 3, 2012.
  • Sam Reinhart has already set career-high totals in assists (32) and multi-point games (13) this season. The Sabres are 17-7-4 this season when he records at least one point and 28-4-6 (.816) in his career when he records at least two.

GO WEST

  • Tonight’s game is the beginning of a three-game road trip through Western Canada for the Sabres.
  • Buffalo is 9-2-1 against the Pacific Division this season, including wins in each of their last five games against the division.
  • A win tonight would give the Sabres six straight wins against Pacific Division opponents in the same season for the first time since 1997-98.

STRIKING OIL

  • Kyle Okposo has tallied 14 points (7+7) in 12 career games against Edmonton, including multi-point efforts in four of his last six matchups. It’s his best per-game output against any NHL team.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has 12 points (2+10) in nine career games against the Oilers, including multi-point outings in each of his last four meetings with Edmonton. It’s his best per-game output against any NHL team.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled seven points (3+4) in five career games against Edmonton, including five (2+3) in two road games.
  • Sam Reinhart has five points (1+4) in six career games against the Oilers, including four (1+3) in three road games.
  • Vladimir Sobotka has totaled eight points (3+5) in his eight meetings with Edmonton since the beginning of the 2012-13 season.
  • Tage Thompson scored his first career goal in his only previous meeting with the Oilers on Dec. 21, 2017.

HEY NOW, YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR

  • Jeff Skinner led all Atlantic Division candidates in fan votes during the NHL’s “Last Men In” vote to earn a spot on the Atlantic Division All-Star Team. He will make his second All-Star Game appearance and first since his Calder Trophy-winning season in 2010.
  • Skinner will join Jack Eichel, also making his second career All-Star Game appearance, as the first pair of Sabres to appear in an All-Star Game together since the team had three representatives (Daniel Briere, Brian Campbell and Ryan Miller) in 2007.

30 FOR 53

  • Jeff Skinner’s goal on Friday at Carolina gave him 30 goals for the fourth time in his career. He became the first Sabres player to score 30 goals in a season since Jason Pominville did so in 2011-12.
  • Skinner’s 44 games needed to reach the 30-goal mark tied him with Rick Martin in 1971-72 as the sixth-fastest Sabre to score 30. He trailed only Alexander Mogilny (30 GP in 1992-93), Pat LaFontaine (31 GP in 1991-92 and 42 GP in 1992-93), Gilbert Perreault (40 GP in 1977-78) and Rick Martin (41 GP in 1973-74).

COMEBACK KIDS

  • The Sabres are 6-12-2 this season when trailing after two periods. Their six wins when trailing after 40 minutes tied for second-most in the league entering play Sunday and their .300 win percentage in those games ranked fourth.
  • Buffalo’s six wins when trailing after two have already surpassed last season’s total and leave the team three third-period comebacks shy of the franchise record of nine set in the 2005-06 season.

SCORING WHEN IT COUNTS

  • Entering play Sunday, Jeff Skinner’s seven game-winning goals tied for the most in the NHL this season. He is the first Sabres player with at least seven game-winners in a season since Derek Roy (9) in 2008-09 and is four shy of matching the single-season franchise record of 11 shared by Danny Gare (1979-80) and Alexander Mogilny (1992-93).
  • Skinner also entered play Sunday tied for third in the league with three overtime goals this season. Skinner’s total matches the Sabres’ single-season record shared by Daniel Briere (2006-07) and Derek Roy (2009-10) and ties him for 10th-most career overtime goals in franchise history.

DAH-LEAN ON ME
Entering play Sunday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked third among all NHL rookies with 24 points (4+20) this season.

  • With his 20th point in his 37th game on Dec. 22 vs. Anaheim, he became the fourth-fastest 18-year-old defenseman in NHL history to reach the 20-point mark, trailing only Phil Housley (28 GP), Ray Bourque (30 GP) and Aaron Ekblad (34 GP).
  • With his 20th assist on Saturday vs. Tampa Bay, Dahlin tied Ray Bourque for sixth-most assists by an 18-year-old defenseman in NHL history.
  • Dahlin’s totals put him on pace for 44 points this season. It would trail only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83) for the most ever recorded by a defenseman before his 19th birthday.

LEADING THE WAY

  • All three of the Sabres’ top three scorers are currently on pace to shatter their personal bests in points on the strength of career-best production at even strength that ranks them each among the best even-strength players in the league this season:
Player/Season GP G A PTS ES G ES A ES P
Eichel Career High (2017-18) 67 25 39 64 22 20 42
Eichel 2018-19 42 15 34 49 11 25 36
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 79 28 64 92 21 47 68
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 45 30 14 44 23 10 33
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 55 26 80 42 18 60
               
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 45 10 32 42 9 22 31
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 18 58 77 16 40 56

MAKING HISTORY

  • If the Sabres’ top scorers continue their current pace, the team would have three 75-point players for the first time since 1992-93 (Pat LaFontaine, Alexander Mogilny, Dale Hawerchuk).
  • At his current pace, Jack Eichel would finish the season with the fourth-most even-strength points ever recorded by a Sabre, trailing only LaFontaine (83) and Mogilny (78) in 1992-93, and Gilbert Perreault in 1975-76 (70). He would trail only LaFontaine’s franchise-record 52 even-strength assists that season and would become the first Sabre to record more than 90 points since Daniel Briere in 2006-07 (95).
  • Jeff Skinner is currently on pace for the third-most goals in Sabres history, trailing only Mogilny in 1992-93 (76) and Danny Gare in 1979-80 (56) for. His 42 even-strength goals would finish behind only Mogilny’s even-strength total from 1992-93 (49) and Rick Martin’s 44 in 1973-74 for third-most in team history.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 1/13 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 83.7% PK% (6th)
  • Eichel: 173 S (T-6th), 25 EVA (T-10th)
  • Ristolainen: 25:26 TOI/GP (6th), 139 hits (T-9th)
  • Skinner: 7 GWG (T-1st), 30 G (2nd), 23 EVG (T-2nd), 3 OTG (T-3rd)

BUF-EDM CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Oilers F Zack Kassian was selected by the Sabres in the first round (13th overall) in the 2009 NHL Draft. He spent one season with the team (2011-12), playing in 27 games and scoring seven points (3+4).
  • Oilers D Andrej Sekera was selected by the Sabers in the third round (71st overall) in the 2004 NHL Draft. Sekera played for the Sabres for seven seasons (2006-2013), skating in 339 games and recording 92 points (17+75).

Former Oilers:

  • Sabres assistant coach Steve Smith played for the Oilers for seven years (1984-1991), skating in 385 games and scoring 218 points (46+172). Smith won three Stanley Cups with the organization (1987, 1988, 1990) and later re-joined the team as an assistant coach for four seasons (2010-2014).

Jason Botterill:

  • Played in Dallas when Oilers Head Coach Ken Hitchcock was the head coach of the Stars.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played with Oilers F Connor McDavid and F Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for Team North America under Oilers General Manager Peter Chiarelli at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Remi Elie:

  • Played in Dallas when Oilers Head Coach Ken Hitchcock was the head coach of the Stars.

Phil Housley:

  • Played with Oilers assistant coach Trent Yawney in Calgary.

Matt Hunwick:

  • Played with Oilers F Milan Lucic in Boston. Oilers General Manager Peter Chiarelli was the Bruins’ general manager during Hunwick’s tenure with the team.
  • Played for the Rangers with Oilers G Cam Talbot.

Carter Hutton:

  • Played with Oilers F Kyle Brodziak and F Ty Rattie in St. Louis. Oilers Head Coach Ken Hitchcock was the head coach of the Blues during Hutton’s tenure with the team.

Johan Larsson:

  • Played with Oilers F Kyle Brodziak in Minnesota.
  • Represented Sweden with Oliers D Adam Larsson at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship. The two played together again at the 2018 IIHF World Championship, where they won a gold medal.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for the Islanders with Oilers G Mikko Koskinen.

Davis Payne:

  • Was an assistant coach in Los Angeles when Oilers D Kevin Gravel, F Milan Lucic and D Andrej Sekera were playing for the Kings.

Jason Pominville:

  • Played with Oilers F Kyle Brodziak in Minnesota.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Played for Team Canada with Oilers F Connor McDavid at the 2014 and 2015 IIHF World Junior Championships. The duo won a gold medal together in 2015, with both Reinhart and McDavid being named to the tournament’s All-Star Team. The pair won a second gold medal together while representing Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
  • Won a gold medal for Team Canada with Oilers D Darnell Nurse at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Won a gold medal for Team Canada with Oilers G Cam Talbot at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Finland with Oilers G Mikko Koskinen at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Marco Scandella:

  • Played with Oilers F Kyle Brodziak in Minnesota.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Played with Oilers F Ty Rattie and D Andrej Sekera in Carolina.

Steve Smith:

  • Was an assistant coach in Carolina when Oilers F Ty Rattie and D Andrej Sekera were playing for the Hurricanes.
  • Was the head coach of the Blues when Oilers D Kriss Russell was playing in St. Louis.

Vladimir Sobotka:

  • Played with Oilers F Milan Lucic in Boston. Oilers General Manager Peter Chiarelli was the Bruins’ general manager during Sobotka’s tenure with the team.
  • Played with Oilers F Kyle Brodziak, F Ty Rattie and D Kris Russell in St. Louis. Oilers Head Coach Ken Hitchcock was the head coach of the Blues during Sobotka’s tenure with the team.

Tage Thompson:

  • Played with Oilers F Kyle Brodziak in St. Louis.
  • Won a gold medal for Team USA with Oilers D Caleb Jones at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (139), Girgensons (66), Okposo (58)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (73), Bogosian (73), McCabe (65)
Shots: Eichel (173), Skinner (141), Ristolainen (110)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 6-4-0 (12), 26/28, 8/38, 22/30
11-20: 6-2-2 (14), 35/27, 4/28, 26/29
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/32, 5/28, 23/29
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 24/27, 7/31, 27/29
41-50: 2-3-0 (4), 16/15, 1/13, 10/12

OVERTIME RESULTS (5-5; 118-126 all-time)
Oct. 27 at CBJ: L, 5-4 (GWG-Panarin, 0:31)
Oct. 30 vs. CGY: L, 2-1 (GWG-Gaudreau, 2:40)
Nov. 8 at MTL: W, 6-5 (GWG-Ristolainen, 1:38)
Nov. 19 at PIT: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel, 0:45)
Nov. 23 vs. MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 3:06)
Nov. 27 vs. SJS: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 1:41)
Nov. 30 at FLA: L, 3-2 (GWG-Barkov, 2:26)
Dec. 4 vs. TOR: L, 4-3 (GWG-Matthews, 4:57)
Dec. 11 vs. LAK: W, 4-3 (GWG-Skinner, 1:49)
Dec. 29 vs. BOS: L, 3-2 (GWG-Kuraly, 3:44)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (3-1; 73-67 all-time)
Nov. 10 vs. VAN: W, 4-3 (GDG-Mittelstadt)
Nov. 16 at WPG: W, 2-1 (GDG-Sheary)
Nov. 24 at DET: W, 3-2 (GDG-Reinhart)
Dec. 15 at WSH: L, 4-3 (GDG-Ovechkin)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Johan Larsson … 3 games … 300 career games played
Sam Reinhart … 6 games … 300 career games played
Zach Bogosian … 8 games … 600 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 9 games … 400 career games played
Marco Scandella … 9 games … 500 career games played
Goals
Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 212 goals with Sabres (sole possession, 11th in franchise history)
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 4 assists … 300 career assists
Matt Hunwick … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Jason Pominville … 1 point … 511 points with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history) 

RECENT MILESTONES
C.J. Smith … 1st NHL goal … Jan. 8 vs. NJD
Lawrence Pilut … 1st NHL goal … Jan. 8 vs. NJD

Game Preview: 1/12/19 vs. Tampa Bay

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Friday, January 11
Buffalo 3 at Carolina 4
Goals: Skinner, Pominville, Okposo
Goalie: Hutton (26 saves/30 shots)
PP: 1/4; PK: 2/2; Shots: Buffalo 33 – Carolina 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 169)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Casey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 15 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
1/8: Activated F Zemgus Girgensons from IR; Placed F Jack Eichel on IR; Placed F Scott Wilson on waivers
1/9: Assigned F Scott Wilson to Rochester (AHL)
1/11: Activated F Jack Eichel from IR; Assigned F C.J. Smith to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Monday, Jan. 14: Buffalo at Edmonton, 9 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 16: Buffalo at Calgary, 9:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 18: Buffalo at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 29: Buffalo at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 30: Buffalo at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
LIGHTNING at SABRES

  • This is the third of four meetings between the Sabres and Lightning this season.
  • Last meeting: Tampa Bay defeated Buffalo 5-4 in Tampa Bay on Nov. 29, 2018
  • Next meeting: Thursday, Feb. 21 at Tampa Bay
  • The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Lightning; 3-5-2 at home.
  • This is the 101st game all-time between Buffalo and Tampa Bay; Buffalo has a 55-37-8 series record.
  • The Sabres are 26-18-5 at home against the Lightning all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 11-7-3 all-time on January 12.
  • January 12, 1978: Gilbert Perreault scores all three Sabres goals to collect his fourth hat trick of the season in a 6-3 loss at Cleveland.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 5-2-2 at home against the Atlantic Division this season.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has recorded an assist in four of his last five games against Tampa Bay.
  • Sam Reinhart has recorded five points (4+1) in his last five games against the Lightning.
  • Reinhart has already set career-high totals in assists (32) and multi-point games (13) this season. The Sabres are 17-6-4 this season when he records at least one point and 28-4-6 (.816) in his career when he records at least two.
  • With his 211th goal as a member of the Sabres last night at Carolina, Jason Pominville has tied Alexander Mogilny for 11th-most in franchise history. He now trails 10th-place Don Luce by five goals.

HEY NOW, YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR

  • Jeff Skinner led all Atlantic Division candidates in fan votes during the NHL’s “Last Men In” vote to earn a spot on the Atlantic Division All-Star Team. He will make his second All-Star Game appearance and first since his Calder Trophy-winning season in 2010.
  • Skinner will join Jack Eichel, also making his second career All-Star Game appearance, as the first pair of Sabres to appear in an All-Star Game together since the team had three representatives (Daniel Briere, Brian Campbell and Ryan Miller) in 2007.

30 FOR 53

  • Jeff Skinner’s goal last night gave him 30 goals for the fourth time in his career. He became the first Sabres player to score 30 goals in a season since Jason Pominville did so in 2011-12.
  • Skinner’s 44 games needed to reach the 30-goal mark tied him with Rick Martin in 1971-72 as the sixth-fastest Sabre to score 30. He trailed only Alexander Mogilny (30 GP in 1992-93), Pat LaFontaine (31 GP in 1991-92 and 42 GP in 1992-93), Gilbert Perreault (40 GP in 1977-78) and Rick Martin (41 GP in 1973-74).

HOME COOKING
Buffalo enters tonight’s game with a 14-5-3 (.705) record at home. The team’s .705 points percentage at home ranked seventh in the NHL after last night’s game. It would rank as the Sabres’ eighth-best home record ever and would be their best since the 1982-83 season (25-7-8, .725).

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s ninth of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 4-3 loss last night at Carolina. The Sabres are 4-4-1 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 5-1-2 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in their previous back-to-back sets is: four points (3), three points (1), two points (2), one point (2) and zero points (0).

COMEBACK KIDS

  • The Sabres are 6-12-2 this season when trailing after two periods. Their six wins when trailing after 40 minutes tied for second-most in the league after last night’s game and their .300 win percentage in those games ranked fourth.
  • Buffalo’s six wins when trailing after two have already surpassed last season’s total and leave the team three third-period comebacks shy of the franchise record of nine set in the 2005-06 season.

SCORING WHEN IT COUNTS

  • After last night’s game, Jeff Skinner’s seven game-winning goals tied for the most in the NHL this season. He is the first Sabres player with at least seven game-winners in a season since Derek Roy (9) in 2008-09 and is four shy of matching the single-season franchise record of 11 shared by Danny Gare (1979-80) and Alexander Mogilny (1992-93).
  • Skinner also finished last night’s game tied for second in the league with three overtime goals this season. Skinner’s total matches the Sabres’ single-season record shared by Daniel Briere (2006-07) and Derek Roy (2009-10) and ties him for 10th-most career overtime goals in franchise history.

DAH-LEAN ON ME
After last night’s game, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked third among all NHL rookies with 23 points (4+19) this season.

  • With his 20th point in his 37th game on Dec. 22 vs. Anaheim, he became the fourth-fastest 18-year-old defenseman in NHL history to reach the 20-point mark, trailing only Phil Housley (28 GP), Ray Bourque (30 GP) and Aaron Ekblad (34 GP).
  • Only eight defensemen in NHL history have recorded more points before their 19th birthdays than Dahlin’s
  • Dahlin’s totals put him on pace for 43 points this season. It would trail only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83) for most ever by a defenseman before his 19th birthday.

LEADING THE WAY

  • All three of the Sabres’ top three scorers are currently on pace to shatter their personal bests in points on the strength of career-best production at even strength that ranks them each among the best even-strength players in the league this season:
Player/Season GP G A PTS ES G ES A ES P
Eichel Career High (2017-18) 67 25 39 64 22 20 42
Eichel 2018-19 41 15 34 49 11 25 36
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 79 29 66 95 21 48 69
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 44 30 13 43 23 9 32
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 56 24 80 43 17 60
               
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 44 9 32 41 8 22 30
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 17 60 76 15 41 56

MAKING HISTORY

  • If the Sabres’ top scorers continue their current pace, the team would have three 75-point players for the first time since 1992-93 (Pat LaFontaine, Alexander Mogilny, Dale Hawerchuk).
  • At his current pace, Jack Eichel would finish the season with the fourth-most even-strength points ever recorded by a Sabre, trailing only LaFontaine (83) and Mogilny (78) in 1992-93, and Gilbert Perreault in 1975-76 (70). He would trail only LaFontaine’s franchise-record 52 even-strength assists that season and would become the first Sabre to record more than 90 points since Daniel Briere in 2006-07 (95).
  • Jeff Skinner is currently on pace to tie Danny Gare in 1979-80 (56) for the second-most goals in Sabres history, trailing only Mogilny in 1992-93 (76). His 43 even-strength goals would finish behind only Mogilny’s even-strength total from 1992-93 (49) and Rick Martin’s 44 in 1973-74 for third-most in team history.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings after last night’s game)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 84.4% PK% (3rd)
  • Eichel: 165 S (T-10th), 25 EVA (T-9th)
  • Ristolainen: 25:29 TOI/GP (5th), 135 hits (10th)
  • Skinner: 7 GWG (T-1st), 30 G (2nd), 23 EVG (T-2nd), 3 OTG (T-2nd)
  • Ullmark: .924 SV% (4th)

BUF-TBL CONNECTIONS
Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Played with Lightning assistant coach Jeff Halpern and D Mikhail Sergachev in Montreal.

Jason Botterill:

  • Played with Lightning assistant general manager Pat Verbeek in Dallas.
  • Was a scout for the Stars when Lightning assistant coach Jeff Halpern played in Dallas.
  • Was the assistant general manager in Pittsburgh when Lightning D Cameron Gaunce was playing for the Penguins.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played for Team North America with Lightning F T. Miller at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Chris Hajt:

  • Played with Lightning assistant coach Jeff Halpern in Washington.

Phil Housley:

  • Coached Lightning F J.T. Miller at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, winning a gold medal together for the United States.

Matt Hunwick:

  • Played for the Rangers with Lightning D Dan Girardi, D Ryan McDonagh and F J.T. Miller.
  • Played for Team USA with Lightning D Ryan Callahan at the 2005 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Johan Larsson:

  • Represented Sweden with Lightning D Victor Hedman at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played for Team USA with Lightning F Tyler Johnson at the 2014 IIHF World Championship.
  • Won a gold medal with Lightning F J.T. Miller at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Jason Pominville:

  • Played for Team USA with Lightning assistant coach Jeff Halpern at the 2008 IIHF World Championship.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Won a gold medal for Canada with Lightning F Brayden Point at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Played under Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper for Team Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Championship, winning a bronze medal.

Marco Scandella:

  • Played in Minnesota when Lightning assistant coach Todd Richards was the head coach of the Wild.

Conor Sheary:

  • Played with Lightning D Cameron Gaunce in Pittsburgh.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Played for Team Canada with Lightning F Steven Stamkos at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
  • Won a silver medal for Canada with Lightning F Brayden Point at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

Vladimir Sobotka:

  • Represented the Czech Republic at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey with Lightning F Ondrej Palat.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (135), Girgensons (63), Okposo (58)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (73), Bogosian (72), McCabe (65)
Shots: Eichel (165), Skinner (139), Ristolainen (109)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 6-4-0 (12), 26/28, 8/38, 22/30
11-20: 6-2-2 (14), 35/27, 4/28, 26/29
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/32, 5/28, 23/29
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 24/27, 7/31, 27/29
41-50: 2-2-0 (4), 13/10, 1/9, 10/11

OVERTIME RESULTS (5-5; 118-126 all-time)
Oct. 27 at CBJ: L, 5-4 (GWG-Panarin, 0:31)
Oct. 30 vs. CGY: L, 2-1 (GWG-Gaudreau, 2:40)
Nov. 8 at MTL: W, 6-5 (GWG-Ristolainen, 1:38)
Nov. 19 at PIT: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel, 0:45)
Nov. 23 vs. MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 3:06)
Nov. 27 vs. SJS: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 1:41)
Nov. 30 at FLA: L, 3-2 (GWG-Barkov, 2:26)
Dec. 4 vs. TOR: L, 4-3 (GWG-Matthews, 4:57)
Dec. 11 vs. LAK: W, 4-3 (GWG-Skinner, 1:49)
Dec. 29 vs. BOS: L, 3-2 (GWG-Kuraly, 3:44)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (3-1; 73-67 all-time)
Nov. 10 vs. VAN: W, 4-3 (GDG-Mittelstadt)
Nov. 16 at WPG: W, 2-1 (GDG-Sheary)
Nov. 24 at DET: W, 3-2 (GDG-Reinhart)
Dec. 15 at WSH: L, 4-3 (GDG-Ovechkin)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Johan Larsson … 4 games … 300 career games played
Sam Reinhart … 7 games … 300 career games played
Zach Bogosian … 9 games … 600 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 10 games … 400 career games played
Marco Scandella … 10 games … 500 career games played
Goals
Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 212 goals with Sabres (sole possession, 11th in franchise history)
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 4 assists … 300 career assists
Matt Hunwick … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Jason Pominville … 2 points … 511 points with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history) 

RECENT MILESTONES
C.J. Smith … 1st NHL goal … Jan. 8 vs. NJD
Lawrence Pilut … 1st NHL goal … Jan. 8 vs. NJD

Game Preview: 1/11/19 at Carolina

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, January 8
New Jersey 1 at Buffalo 5
Goals: Skinner, Smith, Mittelstadt, McCabe, Pilut
Goalie: Hutton (20 saves/21 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 4/4; Shots: Buffalo 33 – New Jersey 21

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 168)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Casey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 14 games
Jack Eichel (upper body, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 3 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
1/8: Activated F Zemgus Girgensons from IR; Placed F Jack Eichel on IR; Placed F Scott Wilson on waivers
1/9: Assigned F Scott Wilson to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Jan. 12: Tampa Bay at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 14: Buffalo at Edmonton, 9 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 16: Buffalo at Calgary, 9:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 18: Buffalo at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 29: Buffalo at Columbus, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at HURRICANES

  • This is the first of three meetings between the Sabres and Hurricanes this season.
  • Next meeting: Thursday, Feb. 7 in Buffalo
  • Last meeting: Carolina defeated Buffalo 4-2 in Carolina on Dec. 23, 2017
  • The Sabres are 4-4-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Hurricanes; 2-7-1 on the road.
  • This is the 202nd game all-time between Buffalo and Carolina; Buffalo has a 102-73-26 series record.
  • The Sabres are 44-40-17 on the road against the Hurricanes all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 7-6-4 all-time on January 11.
  • January 11, 1976: Gerry Desjardins earns his second shutout of the season with 28 saves in a 6-0 win over Pittsburgh.
  • January 11, 1994: Randy Wood scores his first career penalty-shot goal in a 5-2 win at Chicago.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are is seeking their first win against the Hurricanes since March 22, 2016.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled nine points (6+3) in nine career games against the Hurricanes, including six (3+3) in his last two.
  • Jason Pominville has 11 points (5+6) in his last nine road games in Carolina.
  • Carter Hutton is 3-1-0 in five career matchups with the Hurricanes with a .927 save percentage and a 2.06 goals-against average.
  • Sam Reinhart has already set career-high totals in assists (31) and multi-point games (13) this season. The Sabres are 17-5-4 this season when Reinhart records at least one point and 28-4-6 (.816) in his career when he records at least two.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s ninth of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night vs. Tampa Bay. The Sabres are 4-3-1 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 5-1-2 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in their previous back-to-back sets is: four points (3), three points (1), two points (2), one point (2) and zero points (0).

COMEBACK KIDS

  • The Sabres are 6-11-2 this season when trailing after two periods. Their six wins when trailing after 40 minutes ties for second-most in the league before Thursday’s games and their .316 win percentage in those games ranked fourth.
  • Buffalo’s six wins when trailing after two have already surpassed last season’s total and leave the team three third-period comebacks shy of the franchise record of nine set in the 2005-06 season.

NOT TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT

  • The Sabres are 12-4-6 in one-goal games so far this season. Buffalo last won more than half of its one-goal games in a season in 2011-12 (21-9-11).
  • The team’s current .545 winning percentage in one-goal games would be the 16th-best mark in franchise history and would be the Sabres’ best record in one-goal games since 2006-07 (25-9-7, .610).

SCORING WHEN IT COUNTS

  • Entering play Thursday, Jeff Skinner’s seven game-winning goals tied for the most in the NHL this season. He is the first Sabres player with at least seven game-winners in a season since Derek Roy (9) in 2008-09 and is four shy of matching the single-season franchise record of 11 shared by Danny Gare (1979-80) and Alexander Mogilny (1992-93).
  • Skinner also entered play Thursday tied for second in the league with three overtime goals this season. Skinner’s total matches the Sabres’ single-season record shared by Daniel Briere (2006-07) and Derek Roy (2009-10) and ties him for 10th-most career overtime goals in franchise history.

DAH-LEAN ON ME
Entering play Thursday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked third among all NHL rookies with 21 points (4+17) this season.

  • With his 20th point in his 37th game on Dec. 22 vs. Anaheim, he became the fourth-fastest 18-year-old defenseman in NHL history to reach the 20-point mark, trailing only Phil Housley (28 GP), Ray Bourque (30 GP) and Aaron Ekblad (34 GP).
  • Only eight defensemen in NHL history have recorded more points before their 19th birthdays than Dahlin’s
  • Dahlin’s totals put him on pace for 40 points this season. It would trail only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83) for most ever by a defenseman before his 19th birthday.

LEADING THE WAY

  • All three of the Sabres’ top three scorers are currently on pace to shatter their personal bests in points on the strength of career-best production at even strength that ranks them each among the best even-strength players in the league this season:
Player/Season GP G A PTS ES G ES A ES P
Eichel Career High (2017-18) 67 25 39 64 22 20 42
Eichel 2018-19 40 15 34 49 11 25 36
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 79 30 67 97 22 49 71
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 43 29 13 42 23 9 32
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 55 25 80 44 17 61
               
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 43 9 32 40 8 22 30
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 17 61 76 15 42 57

MAKING HISTORY

  • If the Sabres’ top scorers continue their current pace, the team would have three 75-point players for the first time since 1992-93 (Pat LaFontaine, Alexander Mogilny, Dale Hawerchuk).
  • At his current pace, Jack Eichel would finish the season with the third-most even-strength points ever recorded by a Sabre, trailing only Pat LaFontaine (83) and Mogilny (78) in 1992-93. He would trail only LaFontaine’s franchise-record 52 even-strength assists that season and would become the first Sabre to record more than 95 points since the 1992-93 season (LaFontaine/Mogilny/Hawerchuk).
  • Jeff Skinner is currently on pace to score the third-most goals in Sabres history, trailing only Mogilny in 1992-93 (76) and Danny Gare in 1979-80 (56). His 44 even-strength goals would finish behind only Mogilny’s even-strength total from 1992-93 (49), tying Rick Martin’s 44 in 1973-74 for second-most in team history.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 1/10 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 84.1% PK% (4th)
  • Eichel: 164 S (T-6th), 25 EVA (T-8th)
  • Ristolainen: 25:28 TOI/GP (5th), 131 hits (T-7th)
  • Skinner: 23 EVG (1st), 7 GWG (T-1st), 29 G (2nd), 3 OTG (T-2nd)
  • Ullmark: .924 SV% (4th)

BUF-CAR CONNECTIONS
Former Hurricanes:

  • Sabres F Jeff Skinner spent eight seasons playing for the Hurricanes after being selected by the team in the first round (7th overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft. He played in 579 games for the club, scoring 204 goals and adding 175 assists. He still ranks in the top 10 in franchise history in games played (9th), goals (5th) and points (7th).
  • Sabres assistant coach Steve Smith was on the Hurricanes’ coaching staff for four seasons (2014-2018).

Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Won a bronze medal for Team Canada with Hurricanes D Dougie Hamilton at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Played for the Thrashers when Hurricanes General Manager Don Waddell was the general manager in Atlanta.

Jason Botterill:

  • Played for the Thrashers when Hurricanes General Manager Don Waddell was the general manager in Atlanta. The two later worked together in Pittsburgh when Botterill was the Penguins’ assistant general manager and Waddell served as a scout for the team.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played for Team USA with Hurricanes D Jaccob Slavin at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Matt Hunwick:

  • Played with Hurricanes F Greg McKegg in Pittsburgh.
  • Won a bronze medal for Team USA with Hurricanes D Justin Faulk at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.

Johan Larsson:

  • Shares a birthday with Hurricanes F Jordan Martinook (July 25, 1992).
  • Won a gold medal with Hurricanes F Victor Rask for Team Sweden at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for the Islanders with Hurricanes D Calvin de Haan. Hurricanes assistant coach Dean Chynoweth was also on the Islanders’ coaching staff during Okposo’s tenure with the team.
  • Played for Team USA with Hurricanes D Justin Faulk at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.

Davis Payne:

  • Played with Hurricanes assistant coach Dean Chynoweth in Boston.
  • Was an assistant coach in Los Angeles when Hurricanes F Justin Williams was playing for the Kings.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Has played for Team Finland with Hurricanes F Teuvo Teravainen three times: at the 2013 and 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships and at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The duo won a gold medal together in 2014.
  • Won a gold medal with Hurricanes F Saku Maenalanen at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, with Ristolainen scoring the overtime, medal-clinching goal.
  • Represented Finland with Hurricanes F Sebastian Aho at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Marco Scandella:

  • Won a silver medal for Team Canada with Hurricanes D Calvin de Haan at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Conor Sheary:

  • Played with Hurricanes F Greg McKegg in Pittsburgh. Hurricanes goaltending coach Mike Bales was also on the Penguins’ coaching staff during Sheary’s tenure with the team.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Represented Canada with Hurricanes F Jordan Staal at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
  • Won a silver medal for Team Canada with Hurricanes D Calvin de Haan at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

Vladimir Sobotka:

  • Played for the Czech Republic National Team with Hurricanes G Petr Mrazek at both the 2016 World Cup of Hockey and at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (131), Girgensons (62), Okposo (55)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (72), Bogosian (71), McCabe (64)
Shots: Eichel (164), Skinner (135), Ristolainen (108)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 6-4-0 (12), 26/28, 8/38, 22/30
11-20: 6-2-2 (14), 35/27, 4/28, 26/29
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/32, 5/28, 23/29
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 24/27, 7/31, 27/29
41-50: 2-1-0 (4), 10/6, 0/5, 8/9

OVERTIME RESULTS (5-5; 118-126 all-time)
Oct. 27 at CBJ: L, 5-4 (GWG-Panarin, 0:31)
Oct. 30 vs. CGY: L, 2-1 (GWG-Gaudreau, 2:40)
Nov. 8 at MTL: W, 6-5 (GWG-Ristolainen, 1:38)
Nov. 19 at PIT: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel, 0:45)
Nov. 23 vs. MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 3:06)
Nov. 27 vs. SJS: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 1:41)
Nov. 30 at FLA: L, 3-2 (GWG-Barkov, 2:26)
Dec. 4 vs. TOR: L, 4-3 (GWG-Matthews, 4:57)
Dec. 11 vs. LAK: W, 4-3 (GWG-Skinner, 1:49)
Dec. 29 vs. BOS: L, 3-2 (GWG-Kuraly, 3:44)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (3-1; 73-67 all-time)
Nov. 10 vs. VAN: W, 4-3 (GDG-Mittelstadt)
Nov. 16 at WPG: W, 2-1 (GDG-Sheary)
Nov. 24 at DET: W, 3-2 (GDG-Reinhart)
Dec. 15 at WSH: L, 4-3 (GDG-Ovechkin)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Johan Larsson … 5 games … 300 career games played
Sam Reinhart … 8 games … 300 career games played
Goals
Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 211 goals with Sabres (T-11th in franchise history)
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 4 assists … 300 career assists
Matt Hunwick … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Jason Pominville … 3 points … 511 points with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history) 

RECENT MILESTONES
C.J. Smith … 1st NHL goal … Jan. 8 vs. NJD
Lawrence Pilut … 1st NHL goal … Jan. 8 vs. NJD